Waiting for the Green Light #113

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Deepnews Digest #113

Waiting for the Green Light

Editor: Christopher Brennan
As people around the world begin looking more and more to life after the pandemic, plans are being put in motion to build a more sustainable world and fight the climate change crisis. From European farms to Biden’s push for climate spending, there is a huge amount of good reporting into how energy, transport and other systems work now, as well as what they may look like in the future. This week’s Digest pulls in 25 pieces from around the world on the general theme of climate, highlighted with scores from our algorithm.

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Published every Friday

Yale Environment 360

The Oil Well Next Door: California’s Silent Health Hazard

Unlike other oil-producing states, much of the drilling in California takes place in residential neighborhoods, often in Spanish-speaking communities. Despite mounting complaints about pollution from the wells, the state has failed to take action to address this public health problem.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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Washington Post

Block by block, he aims to fight injustice and save the planet

BROOKLYN — Donnel Baird kept his coat on while he toured the aging sanctuary. His breath froze on his face mask as he took in the peeling plaster, the dusty basement, the failing boiler that never seemed able to make Bright Light Baptist Church warm.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 90%

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Texas Tribune

Warren Buffett group lobbying Texas lawmakers for deal to build $8 billion worth of power plants for emergency use

In return, lawmakers would agree to create a revenue stream for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway through an additional charge on Texans’ power bills.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 88%

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Adirondack Explorer

Snow future

The Adirondack winter of 2015-2016 was one for the record books, and not in a promising way. There was no December “Snowdeo” gathering for snowmobilers in Old Forge, and scarcely a snowmobile season later. It had snowed 1.6 inches in November. During the first week of December, riders wore T-shirts, a local official recalled.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 56%

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Grist

The new vocabulary of climate change was written in Icelandic

Andri Snær Magnason, the Icelandic writer and poet famous for writing a memorial to a dying glacier, has spent the last decade searching for the right words to capture a problem as big as the overheating planet. For most people, what climate change really means for humanity’s future hasn’t sunk in yet; otherwise, he reasons, everyone would be clamoring for action. How do you make that terrifying reality sink in faster, he wondered? Magnason’s book On Time and Water, recently released in the United States, is his attempt to answer that question.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 55%

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NBC News

Texas officials circulated climate skeptic’s talking points on power failures during storm

WASHINGTON — As millions of Texans went without power for days during February’s devastating storm, Texas oil and gas regulators were circulating talking points from a noted climate skeptic blaming system failures on the state’s embrace of wind and solar energy, emails obtained by NBC News show.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 50%

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ABC Australia

Should solar owners pay to supply the grid, or are there other options? Here’s what you need to know

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) last week announced that Australians could soon be charged for exporting solar to the grid to help cope with electricity “traffic jams”.

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Editor’s Note:

In countries where solar panels have become more widespread, a recurring issue has been how the energy they produce for individual houses interacts with the existing grids. Here our algorithm highlighted a piece from Australia. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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WESA

Local ‘Clean’ Manufacturers Hint At Tactics Biden Might Use To Move Sector Into Sustainable Future

Even before details of President Biden’s highly-anticipated infrastructure plan became available, manufacturing was expected to rank among its top priorities. Biden has made no secret about his ambitions to revive the sector, and his decision to travel to Pittsburgh Wednesday to unveil parts of the multi-trillion dollar package underscores that point.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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World Resources Institute

US Cities Bought More Renewable Energy Than Ever in 2020. Here’s How

As the world reels from the financial blow of COVID-19, local governments in the United States are under huge pressure as cities and counties face severe budget shortfalls. This is forcing cuts to crucial spending on education and infrastructure as well as layoffs, furloughs and hiring freezes. Losing critical funds could have seriously hindered U.S. local governments’ continued progress on renewable energy.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Reuters

Canada’s cash-rich oil sands firms face pressure to spend on transition

Canada’s biggest oil sands producers are generating billions more in free cash flow in a faster-than-expected pandemic rebound, but taking a cautious approach to spending it that is disappointing environment-minded investors.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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London Evening Standard

TfL wins right to take Bishopsgate case to Court of Appeal as it aims to get low-traffic schemes back on track

Transport for London is seeking to get its low-traffic schemes back on track after winning the right to ask the Court of Appeal to overturn a ruling that a landmark project was “illegal”.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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South China Morning Post

After Suez Canal crisis, EU’s bid to cut carbon emissions in shipping threatens Asia-Europe trade

By extending its emissions trading system to shipping, the European Commission could unfairly tax intra-Asian trade and jeopardise multilateral efforts to reduce pollution

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Project Syndicate

A Just Climate Transition for Africa | by Sharon Ikeazor

ABUJA – From sweltering heatwaves to disrupted harvests, Nigerians are already feeling the effects of climate change, and the country’s fast-growing young population is working hard to develop innovative solutions to the escalating crisis. But climate change is not a challenge any country can tackle alone.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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The New Republic

Are Climate Progressives Organized Enough to Force Biden’s Hand?

So far green groups have largely praised the Biden administration—its quick cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, its recommitment to the Paris Agreement, and other early steps. But now, as Biden prepares to provide details on his Build Back Better Agenda in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, progressive and environmental organizations say they’re looking for more.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Chattanooga Times Free Press

TVA urged to be leader in Biden’s new deal to fight global climate change

Should infrastructure plans push federal utility toward no-carbon future?

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Editor’s Note:

The Tennessee Valley Authority is written about in history books for its part in Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, though what can its role be in the 21st century energy transition. Here our algorithm highlighted a piece from the local paper in Chattanooga. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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The Conversation

Why South Africa’s electricity blackouts are set to continue for the next five years

South Africa is once more experiencing periodic power cuts. These typically take the form of scheduled supply interruptions, for two to four hours a day, whenever the country’s electricity system is overloaded. Such overloading currently happens on 40-50 days a year.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Green Bay Press Gazette

A plan to build housing with net-zero energy consumption was her dream. It’s coming true on a vacant lot in downtown Green Bay.

GREEN BAY – Where others see a vacant lot, Marissa Michalkiewicz sees the future of environmentally sustainable, affordable housing.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Mongabay

Study finds some UN SDGs could damage forests, some others may be beneficial

Progress towards some Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets will inevitably cause damage to forests. The damaging targets mostly relate to energy and infrastructure targets, research has said.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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City Monitor

Here’s how Joe Biden can decarbonise US buildings

US President Joe Biden wants to halve the carbon footprint of US buildings by 2035. Working across federal agencies, here is a road map to get it done.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Vox

What should coal communities do when power plants shut down? Ask Germany.

Here are 3 big lessons from Germany’s transition off of coal power.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Nikkei Asian Review

Japan looks to end support for overseas coal power projects

TOKYO — The Japanese government is considering ending support for the exportation of coal-fired power plants to follow the lead of the U.S. and Europe on decarbonization, Nikkei has learned.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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EuroNews

Technology, agriculture’s friend for the sustainable farms of the future

How can European agriculture become more eco-friendly and guarantee a healthy, profitable production? The answer lies in innovative production methods and cutting-edge technology, the likes of which are being used at the Farm of the Future in the Netherlands.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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London School of Economics

Barriers to net zero: How firms can make or break the green transition

Large firms have been committing to climate neutrality at a fast pace, but investment in cleaner technologies is much lower in smaller companies. What keeps organisations from embracing the green transition? Using data on more than 11,000 firms across 22 emerging markets, Ralph De Haas, Ralf Martin, Mirabelle Muûls, and Helena Schweiger find that both credit constraints and green management play a role. Their study reveals how financial crises can slow down the process of decarbonisation.

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Editor’s Note:

Beyond governments, companies also have a role to play. Here a team of researchers looks into the data on what is holding them back. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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Union of Concerned Scientists

Investing in a Worker-Centered Federal Response to Energy Transition

As we collectively work toward a clean energy economy, many advocates have started to recognize the need to address the disproportionate impact that such a transition will have on the workers and communities that depend on the fossil fuel industries to earn their livelihoods and power their economies. But what can policymakers do about it? And what should advocates be asking for?

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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Quartz

India has big green energy dreams—but issues old and new persist

After Joe Biden took charge as the United States president, climate change is returning as a pillar of its collaboration with India. It emerged in the recently-held online meeting of the heads of states of the Quad countries—Australia, India, Japan and the US.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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